“You can't always get what you want But if you try sometimes you just might find
You just might find You get what you need.” ~ Rolling Stones (You Can't Always Get What You Want)
Most people would be sentimental about inheriting a farm their grandfather had owned, but Bran, of 'Dare to Risk' by Kara Nash and Caitlin Ricci, sees it as a source of misery and bad memories. He quickly makes a deal to get rid of it. This would have worked if not for Kaden Barker, who, with his friends. has been working for Bran's grandfather and has grown to love and respect him. Kaden is appalled that Bran would even consider getting rid of the farm. When Kaden runs the solicitor off the farm with a shotgun, Bran has to go there himself to intervene. This is when Bran learns that his grandfather stipulated in his will that before he can sell it, Bran has to stay there and work the farm for thirty days, otherwise, Kaden and his friends can stay there for five more years before he can sell it.
Bran hates the farm with an inexplicable passion. Everyone, even his best friend, Chris, gets the impression that something horrible must have happened there to make him feel so much animosity. Combine that with the fact that Bran is determined to sell it and resents the hell out of having to even go back there, much less stay there for a month, and it's a recipe for disaster. Kaden and his friends are certain that Bran is not up to the hard work and long hours, but Bran surprises them and keeps up fairly well. He's actually starting to fit in a bit when his friend Chris, sure that Bran is miserable, comes for a visit to cheer him up. He and Bran are an odd couple, joined at the hip and bonded by their miserable outlook on life; they act more like lovers than buddies, but swear there's nothing more than friendship between them. Chris is the only person Bran comes close to trusting but even Chris doesn't know everything about him. In fact, the way they communicate with each other is through a drinking game, truth or dare. Emotionally, it's safer. While at the farm, they involve Kaden and his friends, Samuel and Trent, in their game. This game, although sometimes funny and sexy, usually ends disastrously, revealing things the men often aren't ready to face, causing all kinds of emotional havoc.
Despite their opposition, Bran and Kaden's physical attraction finally erupts in a fiery expression of passion. Yet, there are problems; Kaden doesn't do “just sex” and Bran can't give in to the feelings he has for Kaden. Although intimate, Bran constantly reminds Kaden of how many days they have left before he sells the farm and he and his friends have to leave. Each time they hook up, it's followed by an argument just as ardent. Bran can't let go of his anger, along with his obvious self-hatred and resentment, except for the being a millionaire part, for the path his life has taken. Bran is letting his past control his future. Discouraged and heartbroken, Kaden finally tells Bran he's had enough of Bran's push-me pull-me attitude. It's not a game to him; Kaden loves Bran but wants to be more than a notch on his headboard. Kaden makes it abundantly clear that he's not playing Bran's game any longer and walks away.
I chose this book because I love to read about sexy cowboys, especially ones from other countries like New Zealand. I was drawn into the story by the emotional graveside scene where Kaden and his friends are saying good-bye to Bran's grandfather. When Bran shows up, I didn't know what to think of him. After reading the book, I'm still not sure what to think of Bran. I tried to understand him, but with his arrogance and lack of social skills, I wasn't able to do so. I liked Kaden although I have a lot of questions about him like why he was working on a farm in the middle of the US when he had other successful ventures in New Zealand. Also, I got confused with trying to juggle three relationships at once. It pulled me out of Bran and Kaden's romance. Despite the confusion with so much going on at once, I did like the story. Since it's the first book in a new series, I'm going to give it the benefit of the doubt and hope that many questions will be answered in books to follow. If you like cows, farms, rich, sexy men from New Zealand, and complicated millionaires, you may enjoy this book. Thanks, Kara and Caitlin, for a whirlwind story. I'm looking forward to see what happens next.